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New CEO for Yodel, new directions at Shop Direct, and a new take on returns


If I had to sum up the theme of my column this week in one word, that word would be change.
Change can be tactical, strategic, and truly transformational. And I think we have a dose of each of those among the top stories on eDelivery.

For example, Yodel has appointed a new CEO, Mike Cooper, who takes up his post on 1 February. This follows the departure of Neil Lloyd who left Yodel in July last year. Cooper has a pretty impressive CV – he was, most recently, deputy CEO of the international bus and rail firm Arriva. All in all, he’s got around 20 years’ experience of holding senior positions at a number of PLCs.

Having exorcised some of the demons of 2014’s peak and got itself in good running order, one wonders what the next chapter in Yodel’s story might be, and whether the appointment of a CEO with lots of experience at listed companies might be one possible indicator. Some changes take a long time to come to fruition, so maybe we’ll just have to wait and see.

Shop Direct is a business that knows about change, having made the transition from catalogue sales to online retail. Many of the lessons it will have learned in its catalogue days will have served it well. But what have some of the implications been for its supply chain and operations? Emma Herrod, editor of eDelivery Magazine, finds out.

A more contained, though no less important, change is exemplified by Hermes which is developing a £31m hub in Warwickshire. It will create 200 permanent jobs and will be capable of handling 1.1m parcels per day.

We return to the subject of returns and ask if the conflict between seeking greater efficiency and delivering first class customer service is a bit of a red herring; if you’re reading this in the Nordics, that’s an idiom that you might find odd. But are there new and better ways of thinking about returns; a more holistic approach retailers should take that might mean better service to the customer and greater efficiencies for the business? We think there might be.

Elsewhere on eDelivery, delivery firm DX is now offering click-and-collect through partnerships with Doddle and InPost, we have a reminder that eDelivery Expo (EDX16) is coming up in April, and an item on the role of packaging in enhancing customer service, guest-authored by Lester Barratt of Sealed Air.

If you have an opinion to share and would like to write a guest article for eDelivery, you can email me direct via this link; not everything is going to get an instant thumbs-up, I’m afraid but we’ve had several very interesting articles develop from the ashes of ideas that weren’t initially quite right.

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